It’s safe to say the world we knew back in early 2020 is gone forever. The pandemic has had a seismic impact on all our lives, and everything from how we work and shop to our relationship with masks is different now.
However, as things start to open up again and the world gets back to some semblance of normality, would-be entrepreneurs have been presented with a golden opportunity. Changing consumer habits have made it easier than ever to target people online, while the pent-up demand for certain products and services can make getting things off the ground a lot more straightforward too. It’s therefore no surprise that, here in the UK, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) recorded a 14% increase in new businesses in the first three months of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020.
If you’re looking to join the ranks of these startups yourself, here are three tips to help ensure your success.
Re-assess your business plan
Any business ideas you had pre-pandemic just might not work nowadays, meaning it’s worth carefully re-assessing your business plan. Ask yourself if it will work as well as you thought it would pre-Covid, and if not, whether it is still worth pursuing, adapting or abandoning altogether. Take ridesharing for instance, which was making inroads in the taxi industry prior to Covid, but has been met with more resistance in the social distancing era.
If you do discover that your business plan needs changing, make sure that your new one is fulfilling a market need. These have naturally changed since Covid too, and there are so many opportunities that weren’t really there before the pandemic hit. Take remote fitness classes, for instance. Although they existed previously, the demand for them has skyrocketed in the last year and a half.
Digitise your business
Covid-19 has rapidly accelerated digital transformation considering most things — from shopping and working, to socialising and learning — were almost exclusively conducted online for such a long period of time. Activities such as remote working and online shopping are here to stay, meaning your business needs to adapt to this or get left behind. Ways you can do this include having a strong SEO strategy, using e-commerce platforms and creating an app for your company, as well as giving workers all the tools necessary to work from home.
That said, you may still want some office space considering its potential benefits for your business, such as improved productivity, facilitating collaboration and its role in a great company culture. This requires taking into account the different costs involved though, including rent, equipment, and insurance. As Brisco Business Insurance note: “Office insurance keeps you protected in the event that an incident — no matter how serious — prevents you (or anyone else using your office) from conducting your everyday tasks.”
Make your business recession-proof
Despite the economy getting back to normal in recent times, the long-term effects of Covid could spell economic disaster in the not too distant future. The Deutsche Bank warned back in June of “a global time bomb” due to rising inflation, something that could result in recessions and a murky economic landscape. Consequently, it’s imperative that your business is protected against this — in other words: it needs to be recession-proof. So how do you achieve this exactly?
Among the main strategies of doing so are negotiating flexible contractual agreements with clients and vendors, limiting your overheads, closely monitoring your cash flow, offering more services or products, and nurturing strategic partnerships. In fact, a 2020 survey of businesses that survived the 2008 recession found that 10% relied on such partnerships to survive, with these potentially offering companies a greater ability to enter new markets, come up with new ideas and gain more customers.